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Emergency! 911      


I am terrified you, love, are leaving,

focused on their words frantic around me,

I listen, stand frozen, then yell

            He's not breathing anymore!

I know my way thru rules of acute help

but it doesn’t keep me from seeing

I am beginning my solo

I don't display my shock

pretend to be calm


My gestures belie my terror

when I look, really look, I see

reluctant knowing in your eyes

watch time sever your life

you rise, smoke

into a beautiful untamed thing

from behind an exhale of release

I am taken over

by grief that tastes the color of your skin

smells the edginess of your humor


I step further from your passage

I know what's happening,

we didn’t say goodbye, we didn’t know,

terror to terror, eye to eye, not touching,

this the finale breaking of our contract

you are finishing your life right here, I understand,

I laugh and call myself a liar! pretending to understand…

One male puzzle piece is ripped

out of the female

harmony destroyed

a new picture must take shape

© Sharon Lopez Mooney, "Emergency! 911", originally published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Issue #26, Ed. Robert Paul Cesaretti, Fairfax, CA, Spring 2021, print and online:

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